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Medical Edge: Diet to Help Drop Blood Pressure

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- What can you do to bring down blood pressure naturally?

Medical reporter Liz Bonis asks the experts at TriHealth to answer this question in Monday's Medical Edge.

A new report has some great ideas if you need to lower your blood pressure, obviously not in replacement of seeing your doctor and getting your medications , but add a few foods, a few changes in your lifestyle, could drop those numbers.

Numbers that, according to new guidelines, are lower than some previously suggested.

Dr. Matt Birkle told Local 12, Right now the recommendation is to make sure that your blood pressure is less than 120 on the upper number and 80 on the lower number, so we'd like you to be below 120 over 80.

Researchers in this report, which comes from the a study conducted at Northwestern University, found getting to those numbers is critical because, Higher blood pressure, if unmonitored, is higher risk for stroke, heart failure and kidney failure.

So to reach recommended numbers naturally three things are suggested based on this research:

First, drop your weight.  Even a loss of five pounds can bring blood pressure down significantly.

Second, up your exercise.  Just ten extra minutes of uninterrupted activity can work against higher blood pressure numbers. 

Finally, add six foods to your diet that are high in potassium or calcium.  These include: bananas, potatoes, leafy green vegetables, legumes, low fat milk and yogurt.

It's also suggested you keep tabs on your blood pressure and know your number because you can't feel that it's too high until something is seriously wrong.

Thats the hardest thing, is that is can be a hidden item which is the hardest thing for people to understand, that you have to be proactive, you have to monitor and you have to get it taken care of, because you real can't detect it until you end up with organ damage.

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